This past Sunday my 15 year old, Cameron, gave a talk in church. He wrote it all on his own. No help from us. His topic: Seeking the Gift of Charity. Many have asked for a copy so here it is!
(For those of you who have been asking for updates on the family, those will come soon. I apologize for my lack of blogging. It just hasn’t been a priority. I’ve been busy. Making memories with my family. But I will catch you up soon!)
Cameron’s Talk: (word for word from his paper)
Hello, for those of you who don’t know me, my name is Cameron Deputy. I’m 15 years old, I play the guitar, and I’m a Mormon. (side note from me: this got everyone laughing since there have been so many commercials about us. Good way to break the ice Cameron! Okay, back to him.)
Today I’ve been asked to talk about seeking the gift of Charity. Near the end of Jesus’ mortal ministry he gave one last lesson to his disciples located in John 13:34; “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” That lesson was just as important then as it is now.
Mormon wrote that, “if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all.” From the 1986 Ensign, President Ezra Taft Benson added to Mormon’s definition of charity, “The world today speaks a great deal about love, and it is sought for by many,” he said. “But the pure love of Christ differs greatly from what the world thinks of love. Charity never seeks selfish gratification. The pure love of Christ seeks only the eternal growth and joy of others.”
The Apostle Paul emphasized the need for charity, or the pure love of Christ. He stated, ” Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” There he is speaking about no matter what you have, without charity in your heart, it means nothing.
Jesus taught in Matthew 22:39 “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Charity is the heart of the Gospel. We seek to be like our Savior; therefore, learning to love as He loves should be our highest goal.
Such service helps both the giver and receiver develop charity – -as the Relief Society sisters in one ward learned when they helped a young mother face tragedy:
Blanche was in her early 30’s when she underwent an operation. But a mistake was made, a nerve was cut, and Blanche was left permanently paralyzed. She was confined to a wheelchair. Her husband was an alcoholic and he soon left her and their four young children. Blanche struggled to raise her children, with the help of family, friends, neighbors, and Relief Society sisters – all of whom helped her do what she could not do by herself. Surprisingly, many of those who served Blanche often left her home wondering who had given and who had received! Forced into a position of need for the rest of her life, Blanche often expressed her reverence for life and her gratitude for those blessings to all those who helped her. She enriched their lives, and both she and those who served gained the blessings that Christlike service can kindle in our hearts.
Each of us will have chances to serve and to be served; both are indispensible to our salvation. In serving and being served we can learn to love each other as the Lord loves us.
President Monson teaches: “Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down. It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings. It is accepting people as they truly are. It is looking beyond the physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time. It is resisting the impule to categorize others.”
I’d like to bear my testimony that I know this church is true, being charitable is a blessing. Not just to the person receiving it but also to the person giving it.”
Well done Cameron, well done! You have done your family proud.